'People First' tops Accenture's Tech Vision enterprise trends report

What will the future enterprise look like when business becomes digital? Accenture has a vision.

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An ironic photo opportunity...

Accenture unveiled its Technology Vision 2016 report at Accenture Labs in San Jose earlier this week -- five trends that will have a "profound impact on enterprises for the next three to five years."

Paul Daugherty, Accenture CTO and his team, took a turn to introduce each trend, leading with the top trend:

- "People First: The primacy of people in the digital age."

It sounds like a progressive message and a vote for rethinking a corporation's priorities. It's not, it's about creating an enterprise that can best "harness" its people and use technology to scale their productivity.

"People first" and their productivity has been the central obsession of capitalism for its entire history. Labor interacts with investment capital to produce wealth.

Technology reduces the cost of labor by increasing its productivity, which makes capital more efficient at producing wealth.

Only people can transform capital into wealth. People First indeed -- it's a good reminder from Accenture.

- Liquid Workforce: Liquid loyalties...

Accenture says that corporations will employ a "Liquid Workforce" that will transform "entire organizations into a highly adaptable and change-ready enterprise."

This vision of the future is staffed by millennials who are multi-skilled and employer adaptable undergoing continuous training, and are data-managed. Liquid Workforce sounds like it's Employer First.

Accenture's vision was likely tripped by the nascent success of the "gig economy" and the atomization of labor by Uber and other startups.

Liquid Workforce sounds as if it is related to "Liquid Modernity" a term invented in the late 1990s by UK-based sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. It describes a society where "all agreements are temporary, fleeting, and valid only until further notice."

Accenture's Liquid Workforce seems a perfect expression of Bauman's Liquid Modernity.

More Tech Visions:

- Predictable Disruption: No chance...

Accenture claims that companies will be able to avoid disruption because they'll see it coming years ahead. Good luck with that.

The problem with disruption is not that you don't see it. The problem is you can't get out of its way.

In three decades of business news reporting, many companies have boldly told me they see the disruption and they'll be fine. thank you.

They slam straight into the back of the train wreck on the line ahead: They can't downsize, slow down or pivot fast enough to avoid it.

Disruptive technologies disrupt. And you always see them coming.

- The Platform Economy: Start scaling now!

Accenture says that every company must think of itself as a technology company. And every company must have a platform business model -- Build an industry platform or pick which one to join.

Accenture won't tell you that there will only be one or two big winners in each industry. But that's what happens when business becomes digital. Scaling is easier and faster and the first one to scale wins! and keeps winning for a long time.

Scaling is not a business strategy when it's the only game in town.

- Intelligent Automation: Dumb and Dumber...

Accenture says, "The true visionaries use intelligent automation to create a new digital world where they are masters of competitive advantage."

- "70% of executives are making significantly more investments in Artificial Intelligence than in 2013."

We have enough challenges with human intelligence let alone artificial intelligence.

Dumb and Dumber doesn't result in a genius. I've seen the movie.

- Digital Trust: Trust me I'm ethical

"83% agree that trust is the cornerstone of the digital economy," says Accenture without revealing the mysterious identity of the 83%.

If you get trust right, your customers will look to you as their "guides for the digital future." It advises brushing up on business ethics.

Coming next: - The Rise of the Killer Apps -- strangely missing from Accenture's vision of the future.